Saturday, April 30, 2011
Time for a walk
Say hello to your next bubble
Zach Carter reports on a blow to efforts to regulate the runaway derivatives market. Just as most derivatives are set to be put onto clearinghouses, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner exempted a large group of derivatives, foreign currency swaps, from the regulations...At a stroke, Tiny Tim has given his Wall St. buddies a bypass to all useful regulation called for in Dodd-Frank. The only question now is how soon the Banksters can drive us off the cliff this time.
Even beyond the foreign exchange market’s problems post-Lehman, which are well-documented, simple common sense would dictate that you don’t keep a $30 trillion segment of the market unregulated. When I wrote about this possibility in March, I said just that: “It’s obvious that whatever financial innovation exists in the shadows will be the one used most frequently to maximize risk. So it’s not the type of instrument but how well-regulated it is relative to others that matters.”
The other fear is that derivatives traders could attain an exemption simply by attaching a ForEx trade to their standard derivative deal. So this decision could be a cro-bar to pry the entire derivatives market away from regulation. Before long the entire market could wind up back in the shadows. And your humble blogger isn’t the only one saying this: it’s the argument of CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler, the guy who would be responsible for regulating the derivatives market.
The Dept. of Transportation wants its money back
So that's the reason
Andrew Breitfart slanders again
Remember the Orange Boner's favorite jet engine?
Another recall begins
Snyder is being targeted for promoting a series of initiatives that, in the language of the petition, “take authority and funds from local government and school districts,” gives emergency financial managers “the power to invalidate legal and binding contracts,” and “sought tax increases upon retirees and lower income families (and) large new tax cuts for corporations and businesses.”Gov. Snyder is facing recall, in part, because of his preference for appointed Commissars over elected municipal governments. And in keeping with Republican/Teabagger dislike of democracy, the dirty tricks have already begun.
WARNING:The site mentioned is www.firericksnyder.org. Check in with them if you live in Michigan or want to help Michiganders regain their freedoms.
The first instances of possible sabotage are already occuring in the form of posting false petitions online. On Friday April 29th annarbor.com posted a download-able .pdf of a scanned recall petition. Please be aware that NO online petitions are valid. NO petitions will be made available for download. If you sign one of these false petitions your name can also be removed from the genuine petition. The genuine petitions will have a union stamp on them and will be printed on both the front and back sides. More details on this identifying mark later. In the mean time, NO petitions are available until it is noted on this site.
She's got ways
Yes, I know you saw this on Skippy's blog
Donald Trump is still playing to suspicions of President Obama. And it’s no longer theoretical. It’s theological. For the detractors, truth is no longer dependent on proof because it’s rooted in faith: faith that American exceptionalism was never truly meant to cover hyphenated Americans; faith in 400 years of cemented assumptions about the character and capacity of the American Negro; and faith that if the president doesn’t hew to those assumptions then he must be alien by both birth and faith.So the big money needs to separate people who have a common interest so they don't make common cause against their true enemy. Whether they use racism, misogyny, anti-unionism or what have you, they will keep you from working for your best interests in favor of your slaving for theirs.
This is how the moneyed interests — of whom Trump is one — want it. That is how sleight of hand works: distract and deceive. They need this distraction now more than ever because the right’s flimsy fiscal argument — that if we allow fat cats to gorge, crumbs will surely fall — is losing traction...
It all loses traction as more Americans begin to see the far right for what it truly is: a gang of bandits willing to sacrifice the poor and working classes to further extend the American aristocracy — shadowy figures who creep through the night, shaking every sock for every nickel and scraping their silver spoons across the bottom of every pot.
Friday, April 29, 2011
Political parties pass legislation to benefit their supporters
The U.S. government loses around $300 billion in revenue each year because of tax cheats, some of whom hide their earnings in offshore accounts or disguise them using complicated business structures, according to the Internal Revenue Service. Since 2001, tax evasion has cost as much as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Bush tax cuts and the 2009 stimulus combined, according to the financial-services analysis firm The Motley Fool.This is a rather long post to get to the obvious answer. The supporters of the Republican/Teabagger Party are a bunch of tax dodgers and cheats. While the Party hopes one day to eliminate taxes for their best buds, until then they can evade and cheat all they want with the Orange Boner's blessing.
In February, the Obama administration requested $339.3 million in additional funding for the Internal Revenue Service in 2012 to chase this costly tax evasion. According to the IRS, that extra funding would be paid back twice over with the additional revenue brought in through enforcement.
Most outside economists agree.
"There is no question that the IRS agents are able to produce enough extra revenue to be a good return on that investment," said Wayne Angell, a conservative economist who is a former governor of the Federal Reserve Board and has previously worked for Bear Stearns.
Yet instead of supporting increased enforcement, the GOP has been trying to cut IRS funding. In March, the House GOP sought to strip $600 million from the IRS budget as part of the continuing budget resolution. IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman told a house subcommittee those cuts would cost the government $4 billion in lost revenue. The final budget deal left the tax collection agency's annualized budget unchanged at $12.1 billion, $486 million less than the Obama administration had requested.
Now that Gen. Dave is getting promoted
“Tangible progress” has been made in expanding security across Afghanistan, the Pentagon reported on Friday, saying that successes on the battlefield over the past several months could be attributed to the 30,000 additional troops sent to the war by President Obama.While "Tangible progress" can't hold a candle to "the light at the end of the tunnel" and can't even be called a new twist on "The Turning Point", is sure beats the shit out of FUBAR. Now Gen. Dave can call the CIA a promotion instead of a punishment tour.
But the optimistic tone of the report was tempered by assessments from senior officials in Kabul and Washington that the Taliban and other insurgent groups were expected to attempt spectacular counterattacks — perhaps in the near future.
Public Service Announcement
Why is there only one Bernie Sanders in the Senate?
Sen. Bernie Sanders has joined the increasing call for a crackdown on speculation in the oil markets. His letter to Barack Obama, which I’ve added at the end of this post, calls on the President to inform the Commodity Futures Trading Commission that they must impose strict limits on oil speculation, which is required in the Dodd-Frank law. He also wants Obama to ask for the immediate resignation of any CFTC commissioner who won’t impose these position limits on oil trading.That 25% limit is the only thing keeping any one of the Banksters from controlling the entire market of any one item, they have the money to do so. How kind of the CFTC to require 4 of them to collude in our impoverishment.
The position limits were supposed to be put into effect on January 22 of this year, but CFTC delayed their rule for a year. They also weakened the limits so that one speculating Wall Street firm could control up to 25% of the oil spot market, and four of them could corner it.
I could not say it any better than this
Wall St. Masters of the Universe under investigation
European Union antitrust regulators announced on Friday two sweeping antitrust investigations into the world’s largest banks and their roles in a market for derivatives where a small number of companies control trillions of dollars of financial instruments.We wish the European Union the best of luck in their investigation, though it is not clear where they will go when they have sufficient evidence.
The European officials are looking at whether banks, including Barclays and Goldman Sachs, have harmed rival organizations that could compete in markets for providing information and clearing a form of transaction that had become critical to the smooth functioning of the entire economy.
“Lack of transparency in markets can lead to abusive behavior and facilitate violations of competition rules,” the European Union antitrust commissioner, Joaquin Almunia, said in a statement. “I hope our investigation will contribute to a better functioning of financial markets and, therefore, to more sustainable recovery.”
And on a final note, AG Holder reminds people not to be fooled by his bumbling appearence. If he catches you smoking medical marijuana your ass will be in jail.
Mich. gov. prefers Commissars to elected officials
He liked both officers
Wipperman said the disagreement began over "what appears to be the dissemination of food products." A source familiar with the event said a bag of potato chips somehow sparked the fight. He asked to remain unidentified because he lacks permission to disclose information about the facility.It might not be a bad idea for the deputies and the inmate to trade places for a few days.
Wipperman said the inmate told internal investigators that he got involved because he likes both officers and didn't want them to lose their jobs.
The inmate was taken to the prison infirmary and then Erie County Medical Center before being returned to the correctional facility, Wipperman said. He would not confirm that the inmate lost a tooth nor describe the extent of his injuries, citing federal privacy regulations.
It was "the light at the end of the tunnel" 40 years ago
Alison and the Boys have some fun
Pakistan is our friend
The appointment of Gen. David H. Petraeus as director of the Central Intelligence Agency puts him more squarely than ever in conflict with Pakistan, whose military leadership does not regard him as a friend and where he will now have direct control over the armed drone campaign that the Pakistani military says it wants stopped.Or to put it another way, some group of assholes with influence in DC thinks that we can play in The Great Game and win. Amateurs always do but other people get killed for their foolishness. And we can no longer afford an empire.
Pakistani and American officials said that General Petraeus’s selection could further inflame relations between the two nations, which are already at one of their lowest points, with recriminations over myriad issues aired publicly like never before.
The usually secretive leader of the Pakistani Army, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, has made little secret of his distaste for General Petraeus, calling him a political general. General Petraeus has privately expressed outrage at what American officials say is the Pakistani main spy agency’s most blatant support yet for fighters based in Pakistan who are carrying out attacks against American troops in Afghanistan.
Officials on both sides say they expect the two nations’ relationship to become increasingly adversarial as they maneuver the endgame in Afghanistan, where Pakistan and the United States have deep — and conflicting — security interests.
Thursday, April 28, 2011
If you are out of work, the Fed has a word for you
An American treasure
Your Daily Cenk Shot
Your Dylan Dally Moment
A sign that he really does care
I guess because he is black
It can't be easy defending your party's plan to cut and privatize Medicare in retiree-heavy Boca Raton, Florida, but Rep. Allen West gave it his best shot on Wednesday. Questioned by constituents about the budget at a town hall, the freshman Republican warned that everyone is doomed with Medicare as is.He never will be one of them. Just another useful idiot to serve their ends, with the emphasis on serve.
"I gotta tell you something: if you support Medicare the way it is now, you can kiss the United States of America goodbye," West said, according to local station WPTV.
Cuban terrorist finally dies
“Orlando Bosch lived a life of unrepentant terrorist violence,” said Peter Kornbluh, director of the Cuban Documentation Project at the independent National Security Archives, which has declassified intelligence documents about the bombing. “The verdict of history, rendered by formerly secret C.I.A. and F.B.I. intelligence reports, and court records is that he was a mass murderer masquerading as a freedom fighter.”May you burn in Hell for eternity.
The economy slowed in the 1st quarter
When the year first began, economists had been expecting a much more robust growth rate of about 4 percent, only to be barraged by bad report after bad report as the days wore on. Turmoil in the Middle East set off a jump in oil prices. Winter blizzards shuttered businesses and delayed construction, causing investments in nonresidential structures like office buildings to fall by 21.7 percent compared with an increase of 7.6 percent at the end of 2010. Imports, which are subtracted from output, surged, and military spending sank.Trus these reasons all had their effect, but with so many people still out of work, running out of unemployment benefits, foreclosures still rising, there is no demand. Without demand, Wall St. can play with money all they want but the economy just won't grow.
Still, economists expect many of these problems to fade later in the year. Last quarter’s dismal news was, hopefully, “a pause, not a trend,” said Kathy Bostjancic, director for macroeconomic analysis at the Conference Board.
Secaucus Fats can't build a rail tunnel
The Christie administration, lenders and a new developer have reached a deal to revive the vast Xanadu entertainment and retail complex, which sits forlorn and unfinished along a stretch of New Jersey highway after having burned through two owners and $1.9 billion, people involved in the negotiations said Thursday.For some strange reason Fats believes that state aid to a mall in a town with Sunday blue laws banning Sunday sales, next to Giant Stadium which provides restriction on game days and owned by a foreign company is good for New Jersey. But then again, Fats believes that going through life fat, loud and ugly is good.
The plan: make it even bigger, give it a new name and slap a new skin on the much reviled exterior walls of the 2.4-million-square-foot complex.
The new developer, the Triple Five group, will invest more than $1 billion in the seven-year-old project. And Gov. Chris Christie has agreed to provide low-interest financing and to forgo most sales tax revenue for a period of time, according to those involved in the negotiations, who declined to be named because they did not want to be seen as upstaging the governor.
They added that Triple Five, a Canada-based conglomerate owned by the Ghermezian family, would rechristen Xanadu as “American Dream@Meadowlands.”
The wonderful Terror Watch List
More than 200 people suspected of ties to terrorism bought guns in the U.S. last year legally, FBI figures show.For this curious oversight we can blame the National Gundealers Association (NRA) and their bought and paid stooges in Congress who provide their unique style of hysterical opposition whenever a limitation on firearms for the public good is brought up. The public be damned, gun dealers must be able to sell anything to anybody at anytime.
The 247 people who were allowed to buy weapons did so after going through required background checks as required by federal law.
It is not illegal for people listed on the government's terror watch list to buy weapons. For years, that has bothered Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., who is trying again to change the law to keep weapons out of the hands of terrorists.
The secret, fluid nature of the terror watch list has made closing what Lautenberg calls a "terror gap" in the nation's gun laws a challenge. About the same number of people suspected of ties to terrorism also successfully purchased guns in the U.S. in 2009. The FBI provided the new numbers to the Government Accountability Office, Congress' investigative arm, and the figures were obtained by The Associated Press.
"I don't want to nitpick..."
A wedding of American Royalty
click here to sign the guest book and see a larger image.
Ron Paul declares for the Presidency
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Harry Reid to force a vote on the Lyin' Ryan budget
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) confirmed on a conference call with reporters Wednesday that he'll force Senate Republicans to vote on the controversial House GOP budget.I hope this vote gives them more than heartburn, I hope it gives them terminal cancer of the Republican/Teabagger Party.
"We're going to have an opportunity in the Senate to vote for the [Paul] Ryan budget," Reid told reporters, to "see if Republicans in the Senate like the Ryan budget as much as their colleagues [in the House] did."
That budget, which passed in the lower chamber with near-unanimous GOP support, includes a policy agenda that would phase out Medicare, dramatically slash Medicaid, while reducing the tax burden on the wealthiest Americans. It has become the source of significant heartburn for vulnerable House Republicans, who have had to face down angry constituents in their districts during the current two-week recess.
Lila Downs Amarga Navidad
And in the shitty little war over there
A statement issued by the U.S.-led NATO coalition said authorities “received notification of small-arms fire” and sent a quick-reaction force to respond. Eight NATO service members and one contractor were killed, according to the statement.Curiously there is no mention in reports of the fate of the shooter. Was he killed, captured or did he get away?
In accordance with its policy, NATO did not release the nationalities of the dead. But U.S. officials later confirmed that all nine of those killed were Americans. The service branches of the slain troops were not immediately specified.
An Afghan air force general said that after he heard the gunfire on the compound, his offices were locked down for hours as both American and Afghan troops converged on the scene.
He said the pilot who opened fire was believed to have been in the air force for 20 years
The cover up has begun
Workers replaced a damaged portion of a natural gas well Monday night that had spilled thousands of gallons of chemical-laced water into fields and a stream last week, the well's owner said, and officials said early tests show the spill had little effect on the environment but an investigation is continuing.However, if the EPA finds any proprietary pollution, they will be required by law to keep quiet lest they give away trade secrets.
Also Monday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that it has directed the well owner, Chesapeake Energy Corp., to give information by Tuesday about the discharge, including details on the fluids used in the drilling process, as well as the effects on water, land and air, and any soil sampling data collected in the area before and after the spill.
Such requests are a common fact-finding tool, an EPA spokesman told the Patriot-News of Harrisburg, but this is apparently the first time the agency has made them for the Marcellus Shale, the newspaper reported.
The scorn and contempt of Jon Stewart is palpable
The President has Hawaii release the long form birth certificate.
In the grand tradition of the Hippocratic Oath
US Department of Defense doctors and psychologists whose duty was to care for inmates at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, concealed evidence of intentional harm and torture, said a study.Sometimes when you hear no evil and see no evil, you condemn yourself to do evil. At that point you can no longer call yourself a doctor or a man.
The findings, published in the peer-reviewed journal PloS Medicine, come in the wake of a host of secret US documents released by WikiLeaks, shedding light on conditions in the US military prison in Cuba.
Co-authored by a retired army brigadier general and an expert with Physicians for Human Rights, the study is based on a review of the medical records and legal files of nine inmates at the US "war on terror" facility.
The authors call into question whether military doctors, who like their civilian colleagues generally adhere to the Hippocratic Oath to do no harm, should have done more when confronted with potential signs of abuse or torture.
Military doctors noted the sudden onset of post-traumatic stress symptoms in some inmates who had no history of mental problems, heard stories of rape and documented bone fractures, contusions and lacerations, but they did not question the cause, the study said.
"The medical doctors and mental health personnel who treated the detainees... failed to inquire and/or document causes of the physical injuries and psychological symptoms they observed," it said.
High Flying Bird
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Your Daily Cenk Shot
The Brilliance of Republican/Teabagger political thought
John Stuart Mill was right
Perhaps this is just the logical endpoint of two years spent arguing over what Barack Obama is — or isn’t. Muslim. Socialist. Marxist. Anti-colonialist. Racial healer. We’ve obsessed over every answer except the right one: President Obama, if you look closely at his positions, is a moderate Republican of the early 1990s. And the Republican Party he’s facing has abandoned many of its best ideas in its effort to oppose him.The Republican/Teabagger Party, the party that would cut off its nose to keep the nigra in the White House from succeeding. And your nose too; shared sacrifice and all that.
If you put aside the emergency measures required by the financial crisis, three major policy ideas have dominated American politics in recent years: a plan that uses an individual mandate and tax subsidies to achieve near-universal health care; a cap-and-trade plan that attempts to raise the prices of environmental pollutants to better account for their costs; and bringing tax rates up from their Bush-era lows as part of a bid to reduce the deficit. In each case, the position that Obama and the Democrats have staked out is the very position that moderate Republicans have staked out before.
Are you a public employee with a pension?
The next time a Republican/Teabagger speaks out against something
Robert Watson, a high-ranking Republican state legislator in Rhode Island, is in hot water after being charged with driving under the influence of marijuana and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Drug charges alone would be bad enough for a public official, but Watson, Rhode Island's House minority leader, is still remembered for his controversial anti-drug, anti-gay and anti-immigrant remarks.This also applies to legal activities they do not approve of such as being gay and getting abortions. Most male Republican/Teabaggers can't have an abortion but they do like it when someone reaches in to rescue the gerbil.
In February, Watson said the Rhode Island legislature had their priorities right "if you are a Guatemalan gay man who likes to gamble and smokes marijuana."
Monday, April 25, 2011
The Great Escape in the Shitty Little War
The Taliban staged an audacious prison break here early Monday, freeing at least 476 political prisoners through a long tunnel, according to the warden, Gen. Ghulam Dastagir Mayar.What a waste of time and people and money this shitty little war is.
He said that security authorities had discovered in the morning that the prisoners from the political wing of the building were gone, and that the authorities had just found the tunnel...
It was the second major prison break at the Sarposa prison, the largest and most substantial prison in southern Afghanistan. The prison houses Taliban who were captured in Zabul, Oruzgan and Kandahar, including some senior Taliban figures as well as many lower level Taliban, according to security officers working with the prison.
Krugman talks budget again
Consider the Ryan budget proposal, which all the Very Serious People assured us was courageous and important. That proposal begins by warning that “a major debt crisis is inevitable” unless we confront the deficit. It then calls, not for tax increases, but for tax cuts, with taxes on the wealthy falling to their lowest level since 1931.And then, to be fair to all parties you need to include the President's proposal.
And because of those large tax cuts, the only way the Ryan proposal can even claim to reduce the deficit is through savage cuts in spending, mainly falling on the poor and vulnerable. (A realistic assessment suggests that the proposal would actually increase the deficit.)
President Obama’s proposal is a lot better. At least it calls for raising taxes on high incomes back to Clinton-era levels. But it preserves the rest of the Bush tax cuts — cuts that were originally sold as a way to dispose of a large budget surplus. And, as a result, it still relies heavily on spending cuts, even as it falls short of actually balancing the budget.And then Paul does something anathema to the Beltway Bright Lights, he includes a budget proposal that would actually work.
And that’s why the only major budget proposal out there offering a plausible path to balancing the budget is the one that includes significant tax increases: the “People’s Budget” from the Congressional Progressive Caucus, which — unlike the Ryan plan, which was just right-wing orthodoxy with an added dose of magical thinking — is genuinely courageous because it calls for shared sacrifice.And finally Paul nails the reason why the only viable budget proposal will get no consideration at all.
True, it increases revenue partly by imposing substantially higher taxes on the wealthy, which is popular everywhere except inside the Beltway. But it also calls for a rise in the Social Security cap, significantly raising taxes on around 6 percent of workers. And, by rescinding many of the Bush tax cuts, not just those affecting top incomes, it would modestly raise taxes even on middle-income families.
All of this, combined with spending cuts mostly focused on defense, is projected to yield a balanced budget by 2021. And the proposal achieves this without dismantling the legacy of the New Deal, which gave us Social Security, and the Great Society, which gave us Medicare and Medicaid.
The answer, I’m sorry to say, is the insincerity of many if not most self-proclaimed deficit hawks. To the extent that they care about the deficit at all, it takes second place to their desire to do precisely what the People’s Budget avoids doing, namely, tear up our current social contract, turning the clock back 80 years under the guise of necessity. They don’t want to be told that such a radical turn to the right is not, in fact, necessary.Let's face it, the Republican concept of governing is very much like the concept of medicine to the 16th century Barber/Surgeon. O, the patient has a cough, let's bleed him. Now the patient has a fever, too, let's bleed him again. Now the patient has a bad cough and pale color, we must bleed him again! And history records that the only patients that survived were the ones who chased away the quacks before they were bled dry.
But, it isn’t, as the progressive budget proposal shows. We do need to bring the deficit down, although we aren’t facing an immediate crisis. How we go about stemming the tide of red ink is, however, a choice — and by making tax increases part of the solution, we can avoid savaging the poor and undermining the security of the middle class.
Happy Dyngus Day
So Ladies and Gentlemen, get your pussy willows and water balloons and have at it. And when you are done get ready to polka when 'til you drop. The beer is cold, the sausage is hot and the galumpkis are Mommas best.
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Time for a Road Trip
Friday, April 22, 2011
Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) - Bull Goose Asshole of the Week
Medical providers will soon inform 9/11 first responders about a provision in the James Zadroga 9/11 Health And Compensation law that requires them to be run through the FBI's terrorism watch list before they can receive health care benefits.Because no good Republican will ever pass up a chance to demean or diminish the working man.
According to a letter obtained by Michael McAuliff of the Huffington Post, Dr. John Howard, director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, is instructing health care providers to tell their patients about the provision before they can begin to receive benefits in July.
The provision was tacked on by Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) during the contentious fight over the bill in December, which was blocked by Republicans at the time. Stearns' amendment adds a paragraph stipulating the "disqualification of individuals on the terrorist watch list," and requiring each potential beneficiary to be run through the list.
A glimpse of things to come
Republican old fart and attention whore John McCain in Libya
Can't let go of those dreams of empire
US and Iraqi officials are looking into keeping 10,000 US troops in the country beyond a year's end deadline for a complete withdrawal, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.10,000 is too few to do any good in that country, but it is enough to be a big, fat target for those Iraqis who want their country back. Only a fool would keep us there. Let Obama know how you feel, the e-mail is free.
The talks are politically sensitive for both countries, with Americans keen to end their involvement in Iraq and Iraqis concerned that prolonging the troop presence could fuel sectarian tensions and protests, it said.
The paper, citing unnamed officials, said US military commanders believe that leaving at least 10,000 troops beyond 2011 could promote greater security and prevent Iran from expanding its regional influence.
However, such a plan would require presidential approval, and US President Barack Obama -- a critic of the 2003 invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein -- has not yet said whether he would sign off on it.
"We have conversations with the Iraqis constantly about security issues," it quoted an Obama administration official as saying.
But the official added: "The Iraqis haven't made a request for us to keep troops, and we haven't offered."
Why isn't this fur faced fuck in jail?
Terry Jones had a appeared on Fox 2's Let it Rip program along with Hassan Al-Qazwini, the leader of Deaborn's Islamic Center of America, prior to the incident.It was accidental and Jones is stupid beyond belief. And the police were negligent in letting the old fool either deliberately or negligently discharge a firearm and keep his weapons. They should have been confiscated as evidence and returned to him after he was bailed out and on his way back to Florida.
"After the show wrapped, the imam was chatting in the rear of the building while Terry Jones and [assistant pastor] Wayne Sapp walked with police officers out the front door to their car," MyFoxDetroit.com reported. "As the pastor gets into the car to leave for the night, suddenly there's a loud 'boom.'"
"Officers heard a gunshot, approached the vehicle, asked Mr. Jones if he was OK," Southfield Police Lt. Nick Loussia told The Detroit Free Press. "He was, and they also observed he had a gun in his hand."
That .40 caliber handgun and another firearm found in the car were briefly confiscated by officers.
"Based on the facts of the investigation it did not appear a crime had been committed," Loussia said. Jones and Sapp were allowed to leave after the weapons were returned to them.
"It was definitely accidental," Jones later said. "I actually have no explanation, no excuse."
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Goodbye John Ensign
Your Daily Cenk Shot
How to say "Your Momma!" in Republican
Glenn Beck has seriously irked fellow FOX News host Mike Huckabee, whom he labeled a "progressive" on his radio show yesterday over the once-obese governor's support for Michele Obama's campaign to promote children's health. A clearly upset Huckabee fired back at Beck today with a statement that not only addressed the individual incident but broadly condemned the host's trademark fearmongering against the left.May the sniping continue without end, Amen!
"This week Glenn Beck has taken to his radio show to attack me as a Progressive, which he has said is the same as a 'cancer' and a 'Nazi,'" Huckabee said. "What did I do that apparently caused him to link me to a fatal disease and a form of government that murdered millions of innocent Jews? I had the audacity -- not of hope -- but the audacity to give respect to the efforts of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move campaign to address childhood obesity."
While noting that he's "no fan of her husband's policies for sure," Huckabee said Beck misrepresented the First Lady's program "either out of ignorance or out of a deliberate attempt to distort them to create yet another 'boogey man' hiding in the closet that he and only he can see."
Is Dick Durbin a true blue Democrat?
One big tell was his official public response to the House Republican budget, which doesn't meaningfully touch Social Security but basically obliterates Medicare and Medicaid, while not raising any new revenue, and lowering taxes on wealthy Americans.Nice and progressive until he gets to Social Security and then Dick the Douche appears. The best thing Dick Durbin could do is blow up the Gang of Six and walk away. But Senators almost never do what is best.
In an official statement reacting to the plan, Durbin said "The Ryan Republican budget has three pillars: reduce Medicare benefits by more than half; reduce Medicaid benefits for seniors in nursing homes; and reduce taxes on the wealthiest Americans. America can resolve its budget crisis without punishing the elderly and poor while rewarding the very rich."
Elsewhere he went further: "The Republican budget proposal ends Medicare as we know it and tries to balance the budget on the backs of the most vulnerable in our society," Sen. Durbin said. "Any proposal to solve our fiscal crisis needs to reflect our priorities as a nation. We can control spending without sacrificing our values."
Republicans have been clear that there's almost no common ground between the parties on health care issues. That's why their budget places such a heavy focus on health care entitlements, and punts on Social Security, where they hope to be able to strike a bipartisan deal.
Which brings us to Social Security, where Durbin's rhetoric is remarkably different. As a member of the White House fiscal commission, Durbin voted for the Simpson-Bowles proposal, which brought Social Security into long-term actuarial balance with a mix of benefit cuts, including a slow increase in the retirement age, and revenue increases. And he recently refused to endorse a resolution authored by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) holding that Social Security benefits should not be cut as part of a debt reduction plan.
"I think Bernie is going too far with his language," Durbin said critically.
Vibrators are coming out of the nightstand drawer
For years, vibrators were bought quietly in sex shops, and later online, arriving in discreet unmarked packages. They were rarely discussed, other than perhaps during a late-night girl-talk session fueled by many glasses of pinot grigio. But now you can find them advertised on MTV and boldly displayed at Duane Reade, Walgreens and other mainstream drugstores, mere steps from the Bengay and Dr. Scholl’s.They are more than just 2 D-cells of fun these days.
The newest model on the shelves is the Tri-Phoria ($39.99), created by the condom company Trojan after a study the company conducted in 2008 in partnership with the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University revealed that over half of American women had used vibrators, and of that group, nearly 80 percent had shared them with their partners. James Daniels, vice president for marketing at Trojan, said: “The idea really came from consumers. They kept telling us vibrators, vibrators. And we just laughed. And then we realized they were serious.”
Kloppenburg calls for recount
Final county tallies compiled last week showed Prosser held a 7,316-vote lead over the little-known state attorney. The margin is within one-half of 1 percent of the total votes cast, entitling Kloppenburg to a statewide recount at local governments' expense.Prosser will contest the rcount request because fair recounts almost never favor Republicans.
Kloppenburg said at a news conference that her campaign detected "widespread anomalies" in the election around the state. She didn't directly answer questions about whether she felt she could make up 7,000 votes, saying instead she wants to shine light on how the election was conducted.
"Wisconsin residents must have full confidence that these election results are legitimate and that this election was fair," Kloppenburg said.
30 year mortgage rate drops 11 basis points
The rate on the 30-year mortgage fell last week, staying below 5 percent. But low rates have done little to lift the struggling housing market.Perhaps, if the Orange Boner and His Band of Bozos would put up a jobs bill or two.
Freddie Mac says the average rate on the 30-year loan declined to 4.80 percent from 4.91 percent the previous week. It hit a 40-year low of 4.17 percent in November.
The average rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage fell to 4.02 percent from 4.13 percent. It reached 3.57 percent in November, the lowest level on records dating back to 1991.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
I don't approve of violence
A couple of days before, one of them (Westboro protestors) ran his mouth at a Brandon gas station and got his arse waxed. Police were called and the beaten man could not give much of a description of who beat him. When they canvassed the station and spoke to the large crowd that had gathered around, no one seemed to remember anything about what had happened.No doubt Fred's family shysters will get to work on this, but as the news report so eloquently put it. "There isn’t a jury in Mississippi which will see things his way." And yes I know this is what they used to do to civil rights workers, that's why they were so well practiced. But this time it was for a good cause.
Rankin County handled this thing perfectly. There were many things that were put into place that most will never know about and at great expense to the county.
Most of the morons never made it out of their hotel parking lot. It seems that certain Rankin county pickup trucks were parked directly behind any car that had Kansas plates in the hotel parking lot and the drivers mysteriously disappeared until after the funeral was over. Police were called but their wrecker service was running behind and it was going to be a few hours before they could tow the trucks so the Kansas plated cars could get out.
A few made it to the funeral but were ushered away to be questioned about a crime they might have possibly been involved in. Turns out, after a few hours of questioning, that they were not involved and they were allowed to go on about their business.
A potential Republican/Teabagger Jobs Program?
Your Daily Cenk Shot
Your Dylan Dally Moment
And check out his segment with P J Crowley and Jane Hamsher
The Army gives up on winning the shitty little war
No U.S. general has spent more time in Afghanistan than Lt. Gen. David M. Rodriguez.But the Pentagon sees no need to sell the American people because we have no say in the continuing of this shitty little war.
He is the primary author of the U.S.-Afghan war plan, a 600-plus-page classified document that is a catalogue of the lessons he has taken from three years of fighting the war. He can rattle off from memory the number of Afghan bureaucrats manning a lonely outpost in Zhari district. “Four months ago, we had one district governor and a bad police chief,” he said. “Now there are 13 people and a good police chief.”
Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the former top commander in Afghanistan, calls him the “best combat leader I have ever known.”
But Rodriguez will not be leading the war in Afghanistan anytime soon. This summer he will be returning home to the United States to take over U.S. Army Forces Command, a four-star job in the Army’s vast stateside bureaucracy. The decision to bypass Rodriguez for the top job reflects a determination among senior Pentagon officials that the war needs a commander who can make the case for the increasingly unpopular conflict to Congress, the news media and skeptics in the White House.
In Washington, Rodriguez is seen as a savvy fighter but a so-so salesman.
Just in time for summer scream season
From these people
Once an attention whore, always an attention whore
A Detroit prosecutor has filed a petition in district court to stop a Florida fundamentalist Christian preacher, who recently caused riots in Afghanistan after he burned a Koran, from holding a rally outside a large Michigan mosque.Jones and the boys will be armed, so he says, so there is a clear indication he is looking for trouble.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said the threat of violence was too great to allow Terry Jones to hold the planned gathering on Friday near the Islamic Center of America -- the largest U.S. mosque -- in the heavily Muslim Detroit suburb of Dearborn.
A hearing on Worthy's bid to block Jones and his supporters from holding the rally at the mosque will be held on Thursday in a Dearborn court. The petition is dated April 15.
Prosecutors argue that the planned gathering by Jones could incite a riot, citing hundreds of email death threats against the preacher.
Michelle Bachmann no longer a birther?
The Minnesota Republican told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos Wednesday that the certificate of live birth released by then-candidate Barack Obama in 2008 should satisfy “birthers” who don’t believe he is a natural born U.S. citizen.However we can expect her to bring it up again the next time she is in the comforting arms of a Teabagger rally because she knows who her friends are.
“I have the president’s certificate right here,” Stephanopoulos told her. “It’s certified, it’s got a certification number. It’s got the registrar of the state signed. It’s got a seal on it. And it says ‘this copy serves as prima facie evidence of the fact of birth in any court proceeding.’”
“Well then that should settle it,” she said.
“So it’s over?” the ABC host asked.
“That’s what should settle it.
If Republican/Teabaggers kill Medicare
From the DCCC
The Flower and the Fire
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Now that the Soviet takeover of elected American governments
As many as 400 accountants, lawyers, school employees and city workers will start classes in Lansing today on topics including “Dealing with the Unionized Workforce,” navigating municipal bankruptcy and negotiating contracts for sewer, water and other utilities. It’s a “rare” example of preparing people in advance for potential fiscal difficulties, said Michael Imber, a principal in Grant Thornton LLP’s corporate advisory and restructuring services group.Despite all the happy-face words, their task is to destroy American democracy without scaring the natives. No bulluy-boys these people, unless they have to be.
“Management is usually in denial and waits until it’s too late before they reach out, and here was a state saying, ‘We need help,’” Imber said. He is on the international executive board of the Turnaround Management Association and was among about 50 initial graduates of Michigan’s February course. “It enables qualified professionals to walk around cities and towns in Michigan and say, ‘How can I help?’”
Jan Brewer really did get it right
A kindergartener who brought a loaded gun Tuesday to his Houston elementary school was among three students injured by fragments when it fired after falling from his pocket as he sat down for lunch, officials said.And because the rest of America can not let a "teachable moment" like this get away, the parents of the students considered what to do next.
One bullet was fired about 10:35 a.m. in the Ross Elementary School cafeteria, spraying fragments at the students, said Houston Independent School District Assistant Police Chief Robert Mock.
"Either some type of chips off the floor, or it could be pieces of the round that discharged," Mock said. "They had some cuts and stuff on their legs, they don't appear to be life threatening."
While some said it's not the fault of the school and the responsibility for what happened falls on the parents of the child who brought the gun to school, other parents said that the incident has made them think twice about safety and they wonder if additional security measures, including extra officers and even metal detectors, are needed.Neither of those steps is really necessary prior to the third grade. Until then, a simple TSA style area irradiator and a full TSA frisking should be enough.
Bradley Manning to be moved
U.S. officials say the Army private suspected of giving classified data to WikiLeaks is being moved to Fort Leavenworth in Kansas in the wake of international criticism about his treatment during his detention at the Marine Corps base at Quantico, Va.According to Firedoglake, Leavenworth has two facilities
The officials say an announcement that Army Pfc. Bradley Manning will be moved is expected Wednesday at the Pentagon.
The United States Disciplinary Barracks, the nation’s only maximum security military prison and home of death row; and the new Midwest Joint Regional Correctional Facility, a military prison that holds convicted military members for 5 years or less, as well as those awaiting trial.Manning should be housed in the latter but there are many in the government who consider the former as too mild for him.
Calling all Wisconsin Teabaggers
One of the most important ideological commitments of the modern conservative movement is an opposition to tax increases. It is with this ideology that then-Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate Scott Walker signed Americans For Tax Reforms’ “Taxpayer Protection Pledge,” a vow not to raise taxes on the people of his state.Not even a year in office and he is measuring up his voters for use as flagstones down his garden path. Will the Teabaggers change their motto to "Please tread on me"?
Yet in his newly proposed budget, now-governor Walker appears to have already broken this pledge. While the budget would lower taxes overall — it includes $83.3 million in tax cuts “primarily for businesses and investors” — it would make up for lost revenue by eliminating tax credits and exemptions that primarily benefit the poor and even some in the middle class.
Wisconsin’s Legislative Fiscal Bureau — the state’s equivalent of the Congressional Budget Office — finds that this would amount to a $49.9 million tax increase on people who receive these credits over the next two years.
Karl Rove said attack your opponents greatest strength
Trump was born in South Africa. His father was there on business (buying diamonds) and conceived Trump with a woman he met there. You can see her Dutch genes in Trump, the light reddish hair and very fair skin is Low Country Dutch. Donald Trump was raised in Cape Town according to strict Dutch customs which are very socialistic. (This is where he developed his great relationship with "the blacks.")So the Greatest Hair the World has ever Known was actually born on South Africa. This should be no impediment to the birthers. After all, Trump is white. He was born in a country ruled by whites. And as a bonus the ruling whites did a good job keeping the kaffirs in their place, something you couldn't say about Kenya. Nope, it won't matter a lick to the birthers.
The Dude tunes up
Jeff Bridges is working on a new album that will be his major-label debut.I wonder if he will do a bowling song?
The Oscar-winning actor has signed with EMI's Blue Note Records and is working with his "Crazy Heart" collaborator T Bone Burnett on an album that will include original material and the work of other songwriters.
A news release issued Tuesday says Bridges was inspired by his work with Burnett on "Crazy Heart," which earned Bridges an Oscar for best actor and Burnett a best original song trophy.
Bridges has been a musician much of his life and has previously released recordings on his own. He first met Burnett on the set of "Heaven's Gate" 30 years ago when they were introduced by Kris Kristofferson.
Guests will include Rosanne Cash and Sam Phillips.
To prevent Arizona from becoming the laughingstock of America
Legislation that requires presidential candidates to prove they are natural born American citizens before their names can appear on the Arizona ballot was vetoed by the state's Republican governor on Monday.Her comments are a nice way of telling the legislature, Jesus Christ what the hell are you buffoons trying to do?
"I never imagined being presented with a bill that could require candidates for President of the greatest and most powerful nation on earth to submit their 'early baptismal or circumcision certificates,'" Governor Jan Brewer said. "This is a bridge too far. This measure creates significant new problems while failing to do anything constructive for Arizona."
The bill, H.B. 2177, would have required presidential candidates to submit a certified copy of their birth certificate that includes their date and place of birth, the names of their mother and father, and the name of the hospital they were born at. In addition, candidates could provide other documents, early baptismal or circumcision certificates, to prove they were natural born citizens.
In addition, Gov. Brewer also vetoed the Pack You Heat on Campus bill because it was a very poorly written piece of shit. The language was so sloppy it could have allowed kindergarteners to pack a hogleg. While the governor said she looks forward to the day that parents send their kids to Arizona colleges with a kiss, a hug and a 9mm, she admitted that this POS wasn't the bill to do it.
Oklahoma passes bill to restrict Westboro Baptist
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed a bill into law Monday that restricts members of the Westboro Baptist Church from protesting at military funerals.Frankly we need to surround the Westboro Church with pickets every day. Probably be more than enough people willing to keep it going for years.
The new law, introduced by Republican State Senator Josh Brecheen, prohibits protests two hours before or after a funeral. It also restricts protesters from being within 1,000 feet of a funeral, up from 500 feet under a previous law.
"Protesting a funeral for political purposes is an abhorrent and disgusting practice," Fallin said. "While such distasteful protests have been ruled constitutionally protected and cannot be legally prohibited, this legislation will help protect grieving families from people who are looking to exploit their suffering."
Monday, April 18, 2011
The ex Sheriff of Wall St. still shooting straight
Because it is working so well in Michigan
Following the lead of Michigan GOP Governor Rick Snyder, Walker is said to be preparing a plan that would allow him to force local governments to submit to a financial stress test with an eye towards permitting the governor to take over municipalities that fail to meet with Walker’s approval.Hey Wisconsin Teabaggers, the Koch Poodle is planning to tread all over you stupid fucks.
According to the reports, should a locality’s financial position come up short, the Walker legislation would empower the governor to insert a financial manager of his choosing into local government with the ability to cancel union contracts, push aside duly elected local government officials and school board members and take control of Wisconsin cities and towns whenever he sees fit to do so.
Such a law would additionally give Walker unchallenged power to end municipal services of which he disapproves, including safety net assistance to those in need.
Republican/Teabaggers getting their "come to Jesus" moment
Financial industry executives, business leaders and Treasury Department officials are visiting the freshmen in their offices, briefing them in small groups and even cornering them at dinner parties. It’s all part of a behind-the-scenes campaign to school congressional newcomers in the economic stakes of Washington’s next big fiscal fight: over the debt ceiling...The Teabaggers may kick in their stalls but it is difficult to believe they aren't learning the facts of DC life, close up.
Industry officials said they have been warning lawmakers that a failure to act would reverberate not only through the bond markets, but across America. The government would no longer be able to pay for its commitments, such as Medicare and Social Security.
The officials said they try to make clear to lawmakers that raising the debt limit does not spur new spending. Instead, it enables the government to pay off maturing debt, or spending obligations already made.
And, they point out, if the nation goes into default, its borrowing costs would spike.
“We say: ‘Guys, if we breach it, if we default on our debt, it would make it even harder to pay it back because of the interest costs. And we know that’s not your goal, so just FYI,’ ” said one financial industry executive who, like some others interviewed, spoke on the condition of anonymity to recall private conversations with lawmakers.
Kosher Mouse looks at S & P downgrade of US debt
So that's what happened to Richard Nixon
McChrystal cleared by in-house inquiry
Voters let the cat out of the bag
Six months after voters sent Republicans in large numbers to Congress and many statehouses, it is possible to see the full landscape of destruction that their policies would cause — much of which has already begun. If it was not clear before, it is obvious now that the party is fully engaged in a project to dismantle the foundations of the New Deal and the Great Society, and to liberate business and the rich from the inconveniences of oversight and taxes.Lyin' Ryan may be right about the "defining moment" if America comes to its senses and extirpates this radical anarchist party from our body politic. It would have to be complete partycide to prevent these bastards, like fleas, from coming back carrying the germ of their plague inside them.
At first it seemed that only a few freshmen and noisy followers of the Tea Party would support the new extremism. But on Friday, nearly unanimous House Republicans showed just how far their mainstream has been dragged to the right. They approved on strict party lines the most regressive social legislation in many decades, embodied in a blueprint by the budget chairman, Paul Ryan. The vote, from which only four Republicans (and all Democrats) dissented, would have been unimaginable just eight years ago to a Republican Party that added a prescription drug benefit to Medicare.
Mr. Ryan called the vote “our generation’s defining moment,” and indeed, nothing could more clearly define the choice that will face voters next year.
Even though they don't know fuck-all about credit
A shitty little war with a big ass price
According to one Member of Congress, "We can't pay our bills here, yet we're spending $8 billion a month in Afghanistan," Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.). Think how many people could be fed, clothed and housed, as Jesus would want, if we brought that money home. How many people could be educated, roads and water and sewer systems rebuilt if we weren't wasting $100 Billion a year in an ungovernable shithole run by thieves of our own making.
The group, a project of the Brave New Foundation, has created a Cost of War calculator, allowing Americans to figure out how much of their tax dollars are going toward the war, based on their income and filing status.
For example, a single person making $40,000 in 2010 essentially paid $1,694 for the war. A married couple filing jointly and earning a combined $100,000 has $4,757 of their tax dollars going toward the effort.
The United States is spending more than $100 billion a year in Afghanistan, amounting to about $2 billion a week.
The Defense Department received $513 billion in funding in the FY 2011 continuing resolution, approximately $5 billion above last year's level. Another $158 billion is provided for overseas contingency operations (emergency funding). The war in Afghanistan will receive $108 billion of that funding, while the war in Iraq will receive $50 billion.
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